The city of Valencia is one of the most fascinating, historic and beautiful cities in Spain. With Roman origins dating back to the second century AD, today it has a population of more than a million people, making it Spain’s third largest city after Madrid and Barcelona. Built around a still thriving mercantile port, it also boasts an abundance of artistic, architectural, historic, social, and cultural interests and amenities to cater for all people and tastes.
The ancient part of the city around the cathedral can be largely explored on foot and includes some impressive edifices and lovely old streets and squares with café bars and restaurants, but from here you can take the ‘Bus Turistic’ from here to see the rest of this great city.
Today, since the river Turia was diverted into a new, artificial channel following the last major catastrophic flood in 1957, the empty riverbed that remained is now the site of a beautiful park stretching for several kilometers through the city center, with lovely gardens to stroll through decorated with fine trees, fountains and modern sculpture and crossed by numerous bridges.
Within this old riverbed towards the south is a new development, comparable to London’s docklands or Paris’s La Défense. It has been named the City of Arts and Sciences and here a local, contemporary architect has been given full reign to his imaginative creativity to build some of the most fantastic new civic buildings to be seen in modern times. Notable examples are the Natural History museum, the Hemisferico (planetarium), the Oceanografico, with Europe’s largest aquarium and Dolphinarium, the IVAM (Instituto Valenciano del Arte Moderno), which now stages annual repetoirs of plays, operas and music.
There is an excellent metro system that connects with the airport and, along with the main line train service, also connects with many outlying towns and both are very cheap. Additionally, there is a tram service that connects the city center with the Malvarosa beach, which is 6 km of beautiful sandy beach and is actually part of the city.
In the last couple of years Valencia has been and is continuing to play host to a number of notable events. Valencia was chosen as the venue for the 37th ‘America’s Cup’ yacht regatta in 2007, while this year it saw the Formula 1 motor racing in its streets around the port area. The well known motor racing circuit near Cheste (normally motor bikes) held formula 2 trials and was the venue for largest ever rock concert in history when Madonna performed there. We hope that the Cheste circuit may now be the venue for many other concerts by top bands and performers.
The region around the city of Valencia, unlike many more familiar areas of Spain, is still un-spoilt by the holiday and tourism industry and is an abundance of beautiful, green countryside, much of it under agricultural cultivation with vines for local wine production, olives, peaches, almonds and of course the oranges, for which Valencia has so long been known.
Just to the south of the city is the huge nature reserve park of Albufeira. This great tract of very flat land next to the coast features a large lagoon surrounded by hundreds of acres of paddy fields that annually yield the mountains of rice for Valencia’s most famous cullinary invention – the ‘Paella.’
Everywhere you will find very fine scenery sprinkled with private residential sites and the further inland you venture the more breathtaking it becomes with mountains, valleys, river gorges, lakes, caves and quaint, old picture post card villages among things to visit there.
For the beach lover and sun worshiper, there are several kilometers of superb sandy beaches along the coastline to the north and south of the city, as well as at the city itself. And of course, the climate here is everything you would expect of sunny Spain.
In the inland region around Valencia city there is an abundance of very attractive and individual residential properties, both new and re-sale. The majority of these houses here are detached and the average area of the plot of land on which they are built is over 1,000M2. Therefore, they are generally well spaced and you should find that, unlike many of the new residential complexes in many other places in Spain, you and your neighbours are not living ‘on top of each other.’ Almost all of these properties have swimming pools of various sorts and, having been built as family homes, they normally have a minimum of three bedrooms.
These properties were originally built by the Spanish for use as their second homes and were intended as countryside retreats for weekends and summer holidays with their families and this is still commonly the lifestyle of the Valencian people. There are a few more permanent residents these days, but the Valencians are only just beginning to get used to the idea of commuting into the towns or city to work, therefore it is not unlikely to find that you will have few neighbours present during the week, but more at weekends.
In spite of the rural location of most of these properties, you may learn from our website that all of the properties on our Valencia database are located close to at least one of the towns in the region east of the City (shown on the map page). Most of our properties are also within 20/30 minutes of the airport and 30 /40 minutes of Valencia and there are usually several local towns within 5 to 10 minutes of all the properties. The lovely beaches between Valencia and Cullera are only 30/40 minutes away too. The beautiful valleys and the mountains are considerably closer.
Valencia seems to have more than its share of great fiestas throughout the year, perhaps the most characteristic and notable of these being ‘Las Fallas’ which lasts throughout March with hundreds of amazing, satirical sculpture groups made from wood, paper and Styrofoam that are burned on a truly spectacular night of grand firework displays, street parades and bonfires. There are also the August fiestas with bull runs in the streets, in which the whole town appears to participate, live band concerts and more huge fireworks displays.
In other towns are the Moors and Christians parades and there are others that are unique to specific towns such as the Chamber Music week in the open air in Montserrat, eight nights of classical music concerts with a different orchestra (some world famous) every night. Then there is the wine fiesta in Requena and of course the famous tomato throwing extravaganza of the ‘Tomatina’ in Buñol. So at many points throughout the year in various places there are great events and entertainments and things to go see and/or participate in.
This lovely region of Spain has such huge potential and so much to offer that we still think it is the most ‘up and coming’ region in Spain. That is why we think it is still the best place for you to invest your money in a property in Spain.
So come and meet us in Valencia, discover this still relatively unknown jewel of Spain that really has to something to offer everyone and see some of our hundreds of wonderful properties for sale here!
We moved to Valencia in February 2002. We now help others to do the same and experience this wonderful area. We set up Peek at Spain SL to sell properties in this area. We hope that this gives you an insight into the area and encourages you to visit us. I am pleased to say that “Europe’s Famous Hostels” have also produced an excellent guide for the budget traveller which can be downloaded from the Europe’s Famous Hostels website.
© Peek at Spain SL 2009
Christopher Proctor, Client Director
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